September 20, 2018
Because of our recent "stranded in the mountain" issue, I can't stop thinking about how bad it could have been. Luckily, we have a small network of people capable and willing to help and we're thinking of extending this safety net to others. People regularly text or email where they'll be for the day in the event they don't return. I don't mind acting as back-up, but since I have other responsibilities, there may come a day when I'm not available. I was thinking that we can get a rotating roster together to back-up others on the list. Let me know if being on that list interests you.
September 5, 2018
As with all scheduled events, we scout the area for hazards and trail repairs. During this scouting trip, our two month old starter died. That was the first time we were truly stranded. As much as we're out, we've never even had a flat tire. Luckily, because we had our radio communications, we were never really alone. If you don't already have reliable radio communications, I can't stress their importance enough. Thank you to Chris, Dave, Donovan, and Todd for keeping us company for the day.
Very special thanks to Russ for coming to our aid. Russ was with family enjoying his first grandchild when he got the call from us and didn't hesitate to drop everything to help. If you've been to any VegasUnderworld event, you already know Russ. He picked up parts on his way to us, then drove us all the way down the mountain and back to our house for proper tools before driving us all the way back to the mountain. Most people I know are good. Russ is gooder.
The previous Ninety Nine Cabin cookout location had three trail access options that were listed by trail difficulty. During our return to the mountain and on our way out, we found that all access trails to the cabin were either uncomfortably difficult or trail heads were hidden by washes. Even with GPS, I had to locate the trail head on foot. We felt it would be best for everyone to just change the venue.
The cookout is still on for November 10, but the Ninety Nine Mine Cabin is now out for the location. The new cookout event location will be at Carpenter Canyon west of town towards Pahrump. Once you see the new location, I'm sure everyone will appreciate the change. All previous links have been updated to reflect the new location.
August 30, 2018
New images have been added to the Milford Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This is one of the mines we revisit annually and usually in the summer because we don't to stray to distant and unfamiliar new areas. If you plan on visiting this mine, be aware that heavy rains have reversed all the trail repairs we completed last year. In some areas, there is no room to turn and your only option is to keep moving forward. If you're in a 2WD stock vehicle, you may want to walk ahead before attempting.
I received some angry emails about last weeks article about "sweating" dynamite. The consensus was that I was being irresponsible in encouraging people to handle dynamite. I wasn't at all encouraging anyone to handle dynamite. In fact, I ended the article stating not to handle dynamite for the simple reason that it is dynamite.
I'd still like to meet up for something before the November Cookout, but I don't have any scheduled weekends off. We've been wanting to meet up for another evening mineral hunt to escape the heat. If this happens, we'll just pick a spot and meet everyone there after work.
Sonya is in need of her CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) renewal. Both of us work weekends, so we're trying to get her scheduled for a class on Monday September 10, 2018. The problem is nobody local offers a regular Monday class. If we can get a few more people to sign up for that date, we can get a class scheduled. Once the class is offered, I'm sure they won't have a problem filling the required seats, but I thought I'd ask if anyone else here is interested.
If the Bass Pro class on Monday September 13, 2018 interests you, please contact Maggie through the link above and let her know you're with VegasUnderworld.
The class will be at Bass Pro Shop and lead by CCW Maggie. If you are in need of your CCW Permit or it's time for your CCW Renewal, we've only heard good things about Maggie. Hopefully, you'll never have a need to use your firearm and chances are very great you never will. Responsibly carrying a firearm is about the possibility, not the probability.
August 23, 2018
Labor Day Monday is September 3, 2018. Just a couple weeks away. It's a federal holiday, but not one most businesses in this town recognize. If enough people have the day off and there's an interest, we can try to get something organized. Send an email.
New images have been added to the Umberci Mine gallery in the Ivanpah, CA directory. We return to this mine once or twice a year and usually on our way somewhere else. This day, we were hoping to find the north entrance to Umberci Mine which is a few valleys north of the Ivanpah Solar Farm. This area is rarely traveled and the trails not maintained often.
Much of the trails are now mostly part of the larger wash system. We traveled up and down the wash several times looking for a way to reconnect with anything resembling a trail. We found what we believed to be the trail continuation, but is now 3+ feet above the wash. It wouldn't take much effort to knock the wash wall down and reach the trail, but I'm not going to give much effort in these triple digits.
A new article has been added to the Random Articles section about the dangers of "sweating" dynamite. Most of you probably already know that you have to whisper and tip-toe around old dynamite because even the slightest movement of your breath can detonate it, causing a chain reaction that would likely frack the planet in half. This article addresses those real dangers.
August 16, 2018
I think I finally have the Jeep in good working order. Although I do enjoy the wrench work, I don't want to get under the Jeep for a very long time. Our most recent test drive was to Goodsprings. As with many of our recent trips, we just wanted to get away from town and phones.
As mentioned months ago, we bought a new home that needs lots of work. Our most recent project is remodeling a bathroom. Behind the medicine cabinet, I printed up some coordinates to a location in the mountains. At that location, I placed a note under a boulder that read:
"Use this contact information in the event all previous forms of communications have failed:
I closed that note with a 50 line random encryption code. It could be decades before someone remodels that bathroom again to find the note. They may never give the time or effort to reach the coordinates and find the note under the boulder. If someone does follow the coordinates, the encryption code means nothing. I just wanted to add more to their mystery.
We were in the general area of Combination Mine which is privately owned. When we first came across this mine, we approached from the south, did not see the posted property signs, and unintentionally trespassed. I've added all images we have of the mine to the gallery. We've provided the best views of the mine in the gallery. There is nothing more there to see. Please, respect the boundary and land ownership. Since we are aware of the trespassing, we will not be returning and no new images will become available.
Details for the Annual Cookout Event scheduled on November 10, 2018 are now up. The date and location is set and will not change, but details may vary. This is a potluck cookout. There is a supply list provided through the link, so you may want to check it a few more times as the date approaches for changes.
August 9, 2018
It sure does seem like I often apologize for late or no updates. Quite a few things have kept me busy, but mostly Jeep issues. The last issue was the transmission. I had to take that apart because it wouldn't shift above 2nd gear. It wasn't a difficult repair process, but there were a lot of steps involved. With all the small moving parts in an engine and transmission, I'm surprised they aren't breaking down all the time.
So far this year, I've had to replace two ripped tires, replaced the water pump, replaced the alternator, replaced the starter, replaced the AC compressor and repaired it twice, repaired the transmission, replaced the front wheel hub assemblies, replaced the ambient air sensor (twice) and replaced the entire front and rear suspension. Seriously, all of the suspension. As of yesterday, it's looking like the PCM has a bad internal ground. I just ordered that part yesterday and there's a chance that it's not the problem.
The Jeep is very close to 185k miles, so these are considered wearable parts. For those of you who know me, you'll know it wasn't an easy 185k miles for the Jeep. When I replace a part, I tend to go bigger with replacements, so at least I'm building a stronger Jeep. It has so many new parts, I might as well register it as a 2018 model.
So far, the only event scheduled is the annual cookout in November. No information is up yet, but if you attended the first one, it'll be at the same place with all of the same details. I'll get that event page up shortly. That will be Saturday November 10, 2018. There's a chance we may arrive early Friday evening or stay overnight into Sunday.
July 19, 2018
We've been to Root Mine in Goodsprings, NV many times over the years and was pleased to see land improvements. Many (if not all) of the small, reopened mines end up being capital raise, stock, or land (re)selling scams. We were cautious, but hopeful that this would be different especially since Root Mine is one of our favorites in the area.
This mine has been reopened, but not as a mine. It is now a training facility for advanced firearms training. No new images will become available, so I went ahead and released all I have. Access to this mine will be missed, but I can't say I'm upset about the loss. Jobs and a legitimate service were created. I sincerely wish them well. Unless you are in need of their training and have an appointment, stay well clear.
Our annual cookout has been scheduled for Saturday November 10, 2018. Other than the date, no other information is available.
We are trying to set up 1 or 2 other events before that date. One of them will be an evening hunt for fluorescent minerals. Most of us don't have the proper UV lighting or know what we're looking for. Personally, I like the evening events because it's fun to wander the desert, kicking rocks, with a flashlight. If you know what you're looking for and would like to make suggestions, please send me an email.
July 12, 2018
Pictures from Saturdays Mormon Well Trail event are now up. Sorry it took so long, but I've been super busy lately and barely had time to upload something.
In the future, if you plan on attending an event, check the event details for any last minute changes. Better yet, send me an email of your intent to attend so I can contact directly with any changes.
July 5, 2018
Last call for the trail run this coming Saturday, July 7, 2018. We're expecting a good crowd for this event, but since there will be no underground exploration, there will be no space or age limitations. Feel free to bring and invite as many people as you'd like. We'll see you soon.
Some details about the event have changed recently. Make sure you read through the link for the latest update information.
June 21, 2018
I'm learning that a few of you, maybe more, are unable to receive emails from me. This appears to be an issue on the receiving side and is often because of a high spam/junk email filter setting. A high spam/junk mail filter setting will reject mail sent to multiple recipients, those using a Virtual Private Network, and sometimes mail sent from an unknown .com. You can try to remedy this by reducing your email clients spam/junk mail filter settings and/or adding VegasUnderworld.com to your emails safe sender list.
New images have been added to the Kirby Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We didn't have a reason to return. We just happened to be in the area without a plan and ended up there. We thought we've seen everything there, but there are so many shallow valleys and washes, there is usually something new to see. When the weather cools, we'll return and hopefully get into an underground area new to us.
If you are planning on joining us on July 7, 2018 for the Mormon Well Trail event, please review the updated event page. Specifically, take note that the meeting place has changed. After having a better look at the parking lot, we thought that it looked a little tight for even just a few extra vehicles. The new meeting location has much more room and supply shopping options. It is a little further, but it also brings us closer to the trail.
June 14, 2018
We've rescheduled the Mormon Well Trail event for Saturday July 7, 2018. Summers in Nevada are brutal, but if your vehicle is in good repair with a working air conditioner, it should be a pleasant day. Details are in the link.
The Hoosier Mine has been added to the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. It's been a while since we've entered a mine new to us. We've been wanting to get into this one for years, but didn't want to interfere with the most recent mine workings and waited for it to be abandoned again.
May 31, 2018
Sorry about the Memorial Day event cancellation. Some of you know that I've been attempting to limit and reduce my work schedule. Surprisingly, this limited schedule often means more hours and at the very least, inconvenience.
A colleague experienced a serious and sudden illness, so to him it was much more than an inconvenience. I had to work Sunday night until Monday morning. I was scheduled to leave around 6AM, which would only leave me 3 hours to rest and meet for the event. In my work, there are also no schedule guarantees. I could leave on time and I could just as easily be delayed by hours. Because of the narrow and uncertain time line, I thought it would be best to just cancel the event.
Very few people confirmed for this event, but for this group, little to no confirmations doesn't mean much. Some of our largest events had the fewest confirmations. I did send out notifications to those interested and post a site update as soon as I knew there was a scheduling problem. I didn't receive any angry emails from anyone who didn't get notice, so I'm guessing none just showed up.
Even though this event was cancelled, I didn't feel like wasting a holiday. New images have been added to the Sultan Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Since we have the lower levels well documented, the new images are mostly of the upper levels.
Not sure when we'll be meeting again. I know I have some free time coming up in July, but we all know the weather in July is brutal. Maybe that would be a good time to reschedule the Mormon Well Trail trip. I'll be sure to let everyone know when we know.
May 27, 2018
Because of last minute scheduling issues, the event scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. I've notified those who confirmed and hope everyone gets the message. I'll explain with the regular update.
May 24, 2018
Last call for our Memorial Day event on Monday the 28th to Mormon Well Road. The trail head is just under 50 miles away and the trail almost another 50 miles. This will be a full day. Don't forget to pack a lunch. Since this trail is North of town, our usual meeting place has changed. Please, read the event details carefully. The last day of a three day weekend usually means interstate traffic. We won't be waiting for late arrivals.
A new piece has been added to the Articles section of the site addressing Site Complaints. People often disagree with things on this site and some get upset over small or non-issues. I probably should have addressed these common complaints a long time ago and started to, but I just now got around to completing a response.
See everyone on Monday!
May 17, 2018
We were recently revisiting, Hoodoo, Addison, Milford, Ingomar, and Picture Rock Mines. The mines look about the same as the way we left them. If you're in the area, be more mindful of small children and pets. There has been another confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in the area.
Good news, bad news. To reduce the sting, we'll begin with the bad news. Our group repeater that has had many setbacks, too much effort and more than tripled in budget, is now a dead project. After the GMRS repeater on Low Potosi went down, we began this project out of safety necessity. My sincere apologies to those who were relying on this new repeater to come online.
Good news is someone else with far more knowledge was generous enough to install a new GMRS repeater on High Potosi. This new repeater is far more reliable than ours ever would have been, triple the transmission output and is about 2500 feet above the previous repeater location with unobstructed views in all directions. As with most complicated projects, this one has a few more tiny bugs to work out, but is currently operational and already has the best coverage and range of all previous and current GMRS repeaters.
I believe the furthest contact made using this repeater was in excess of 120 miles, but with a good radio, antenna, and elevation it will easily exceed that. It should have no problems reaching most of our local trails and mining districts including Mormon Well Trail which we will be visiting shortly.
If you weren't already aware, we will be running this trail this coming Memorial Day Monday. Details can be found through the link. Since it's not a weekend and fewer employers are observing Memorial Day as a National Holiday, we're not expecting a large group for this event. Although we wish Memorial Day was more widely observed, a less crowded trail is always appreciated.
May 10, 2018
We finally narrowed down a destination for our Memorial Day event. This coming May 28, 2018, we'll be running the Mormon Well Trail. We've run this trail solo and found this is one of those trails you'll want to run with others. It's extremely remote and, depending on weather, the trail can be very easy or very dangerous. Since we are headed north, our common meeting spot has changed. Please, carefully read the event details provided in the link above.
I know most will want to get underground somewhere, but since we've visited most places within a couple hours of town worth visiting, we are going with a trail run. It also looks like summer is early, so a little elevation and air conditioning is appreciated.
May 3, 2018
My apologies for missing updates again. Those who saw me last, may have noticed I wasn't well. I don't like being still for too long and that bronchitis turned into pneumonia. Other than the right meds, there isn't much to do for pneumonia other than rest. I get bored easily and rather than rest, I kept trying to entertain myself, which slowed my healing progress. I'm feeling better now, but had I been a better patient, I would have been better weeks ago.
This weeks update is an addition to the guest writer series. Blake addresses common misconceptions about steel cased ammunition. It's something I use often and have heard from many people why I shouldn't. Blake breaks down the myths and gives his professional opinions.
April 12, 2018
Another great event was held this past weekend. As always, great to see familiar and new faces. Images from that event can be found in the completed event gallery.
We're going to try to fit in one more event before summer is on us. Probably this coming Memorial Day. May 28. During summer, we'll try to schedule an evening fluorescent mineral hunt. Of all the evening events we've held, I don't think any of us find anything worth keeping, but it's still a good time to hang out with friends and kick some rocks around.
When it gets too hot to hike and climb, a trail run is always an option. That way, everyone but Ken can enjoy some air conditioning. We have some great local trails ranging from scenic to slightly technical. Most local trails are maintained to the point where 4WD isn't needed.
We'll have another cookout event, but we'll be limiting those to once a year and sometime late October or November where we can actually enjoy a fire. I'll keep everyone posted.
If you'd like to suggest a future event destination or maybe you've seen something on the site you'd like to see for yourself, we're always open to suggestions.
April 5, 2018
Last call for our event this coming Saturday April 7, 2017. We'll be returning to Clark Mountain to visit a few mines we weren't able to reach last time and possibly revisit some of the larger mines.
We do have a favor to ask the group. We have a father and son from out of town that would like to join us. If anyone has a couple seats to spare for the day, I'm sure they will appreciate it. I'd offer our spares, but they may be taken and we won't know until the morning of the event. Transportation for these two was confirmed, but because of a family emergency, that arrangement will not work. If you can help with this, please send me an email quickly so arrangements can be made.
I finally got around to moving the old updates to a separate archive page. Everything there is date sensitive and mostly irrelevant now anyway. This page really needed a good cleaning. The link to the archives can be found here or at the top of this page, a couple rows below the site logo.
See everyone this weekend.
March 29, 2018
New images have been added to the Taylor Mine and Lizzie Bullock Mine galleries in the Ivanpah, California directory. Not coincidentally, these locations also happen to be featured stops for our group event next Saturday the 7th of April. Details of the event can be found in the previous links. If you plan on attending, an email would be appreciated. All participants are expected to read and accept the event waivers of liability.
I've been nursing bronchitis for far too long. Hopefully, I'll be feeling well enough to enjoy this event. Even if I'm not, I'll still be there, but probably won't be in a climbing mood. I wasn't even going to post this update, but Russ made me. haha
March 22, 2018
There's been a slight change of plans regarding our April 7, 2018 event. The date is still the same, but our location has changed. Originally, we were planning on visiting the New Trail Mine and surrounding areas. It's an interesting site, but after researching a route for other stops, there just wasn't enough of interest to fill a day.
Plan B was a route taking us to Rhyolite and Beatty. It does appear there is enough to see for a full day, but we've never been to either destination and we really need practical experience to arrange a day. We'd hate to drive two hours there only to find the trails were bad or nothing to see at the chosen stops. After we get a chance to scout the area or have the services of a competent guide, we'll plan for a future date. Our window of good weather opportunity is quickly closing, so that event may be a while.
Back in February of 2016, we visited Clark Mountain in Ivanpah as a group. It turned out to be one of our more enjoyable events, but we did miss a couple mines because of trail conditions. The trails have had a couple years to naturally settle so, we'll be returning to Clark Mountain and beginning where we left off in 2016.
Details of the event were sent out last week. If you've been to a previous event or in fairly recent email contact with me, you should have received it. If not, please check your spam or bulk email folder. If it's not there, I probably don't have your email address.
Details of the event can be found here. Hope to see you there.
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